In spring time, all the charter vessels start to prepare for their busy cruising season.
The Dutch barquentine Thalassa spends the winter in North Amsterdam and then goes off cruising in the Hebrides and around the Irish coast. While Phoenix, a Baltic trader converted to an eighteenth century brigantine, mostly goes around to the sea festivals in the summer and returns to Charlestown, Cornwall for an over winter refit.
Three years ago, the Baltic ketch Ruth was off Land’s End when her main mast snapped, due to unseen rot in the centre. She managed to get into Falmouth and then up to Charlestown where she has been ever since. The 3-masted lugger Kerenza was launched last winter at Millbrook. Her owner Russell Farriday took four years to build her with some help in framing and planking. She is based on the 40ft Looe lugger Guide Me, but has a twofoot counter stern. Russell took the engine out of his 1902 King’s Lynn smack Victorious, to go into the new lugger. Because of the short steep waves in the Wash, some Lynn smacks had their bowsprits stepped on the stem head, not on the deck. At Cotehele, the Tamar barge Shamrock had her mizzen out last winter ready to ‘drop in’ a new engine.
Luke Powell created the Rhoda Mary Heritage Boatyard at Truro and is building the 68ft Pellew, a replica of the 1852 Falmouth pilot cutter Vincent. The cutter will go to Faversham where Brian Pain, owner of the barge Lady of the Lea, is setting up a project to fit her out. Last summer, Luke took his pilot cutter Agnes, into Clovelly harbour, The ketch Irene also visited Clovelly, but anchored in Bideford Bay and collected her visitors from the fourteenth century stone harbour wall. In really good weather, the Irene just touches on to the harbour wall so that visitors can walk aboard.